Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Syrianus

[Revised entry by Christian Wildberg on November 22, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Syrianus (in antiquity known as "the Great") was a teacher of philosophy and, if we can trust the evidence, of rhetoric in Athens during the late 4th and early 5th centuries CE. He was a slightly younger contemporary of Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430). Born in Alexandria in the second half of the 4th century, he received his basic education there but later went on to study philosophy under Plutarch of Athens (c. 350 - 431/2), who had revived Plato's Academy. When [More]

Kant’s Philosophical Development

[Revised entry by Martin Schönfeld and Michael Thompson on November 22, 2019. Changes to: Bibliography] Modern philosophy begins with Kant, and yet he marks the end of the "Modern" epoch (1600 - 1800 AD/CE) in the history of philosophy.[1] The appearance of the Critique of Pure Reason in 1781 marks the end of the modern period and the beginning of something entirely new. Today his texts are read on all continents, and his thought has had a profound impact on nearly all subsequent philosophical discussions. The 2004 bicentennial of his death, for instance, was reflected in conferences in Austria, Canada, China, France, [More]

Philosophy of Theater

[New Entry by James R. Hamilton on November 22, 2019.] In contrast to Plato's well-known disparagement of theatrical practices (in Republic, Books III and X, for example), Aristotle held in the Poetics that tragedy in theatrical performance, perhaps tragedy in particular, could have therapeutic value. Whether what he meant was a kind of cognitive therapy or a form of psychological therapy is a question that has vexed scholars to this day; and it turns on how one understands two terms: katharsis and mimesis (Schaper 1968; Golden 1973; Diamond 1989; [More]

Hegel for our Times

It is probably odd to think that Hegel has something to tell us about our lives, but what if our most basic obligations toward one another and the planet could be illuminated by this philosopher who wrote in the early 1800s? In his Phenomenology of Spirit, he shows us that we are not simply solitary creatures, disconnected from one another, although he knows very well that we sometimes see ourselves precisely in that way.  In his view, self-conscious subjects are never fully solitary in part because they depend upon one another and cannot really do without one another. He makes, however, a further claim: only as a social being can I begin to reflect upon myself.  It is in the course of encountering another that I stand a chance to become self-conscious."Once we come to know ourselves, we grasp the way in which we are fundamentally tied to others."Hegel reviews for us a dramatic scene in which one human subject seeks to destroy another, and then another extended scene in which one [More]

APA Member Interview: William Bell

William Bell is currently a graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis. His main research interests are in well-being and metaethics. What excites you about philosophy? Between completing my master’s and current PhD studies, I spent a couple of years working in a school and not doing much philosophy. I really missed it. To [More]

65 - Vold on How We Can Extend Our Minds With AI

In this episode I talk to Dr Karina Vold. Karina is a philosopher of mind, cognition, and artificial intelligence. She works on the ethical and societal impacts of emerging technologies and their effects on human cognition. Dr Vold is currently a postdoctoral Research Associate at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Philosophy, and a Digital Charter Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. We talk about the ethics extended cognition and how it pertains to the use of artificial intelligence. This is a fascinating topic because it addresses one of the oft-overlooked effects of AI on the human mind.You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Stitcher and a range of other podcasting services (the RSS feed is here).Show Notes0:00 - Introduction1:55 - Some examples of AI cognitive extension13:07 - Defining cognitive extension17:25 - Extended cognition versus extended mind19:44 - The Coupling-Constitution Fallacy21:50 - Understanding different theories of situated cognition27:20 - The Coupling-Constitution Fallacy Redux30:20 - What is distinctive about AI-based cognitive extension?34:20 - The three/four different ways of thinking about human interactions with AI40:04 - Problems with this framework49:37 - The Problem of Cognitive Atrophy53:31 - The Moral Status of AI Extenders57:12 - The Problem of Autonomy and Manipulation58:55 - The policy implications of recognising AI [More]

World Philosophy Day 2019

The third Thursday of November was proclaimed World Philosophy Day by UNESCO in 2005 with the following objectives: to renew the national, subregional, regional and international commitment to philosophy; to foster philosophical analysis, research and studies on major contemporary issues, so as to respond more effectively to the challenges that are confronting humanity today; to [More]